Texas decreases the use of antipsychotic drugs in healthcare facilities – Orange Leader


State-wide effort improves well-being of long-term care residents

AUSTIN – Texas has reduced its use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes by 58% – more than any other state, according to a report from the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes.

“Reducing the use of these drugs directly improves the quality of life for residents in care facilities, and we are proud of this result,” said Stephanie Stephens, director of Medicaid at Texas HHSC. “We worked closely with providers to educate them on the use of these drugs and on alternative strategies to address behavioral issues for residents, especially those with dementia.”

Texas now ranks 11th in the country in reducing the prevalence of antipsychotic use among residents of long-term care facilities. The use of antipsychotic medications for residents, especially those with dementia, is a key measure of the quality of nursing facilities – and closely monitored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services -.

In 2011, Texas was ranked 51st in the country for the highest antipsychotic drug use, with 28.8 percent of nursing home residents receiving antipsychotic drugs.

Since then, the HHSC has launched several initiatives to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs among residents of nursing homes, including the implementation of specialized training programs focused on dementia care for providers and nursing staff. nursing facilities, the creation of an online toolkit for registered professional nurses and the creation of the Center of Excellence. in Aging Services and Long-Term Care, a collaboration between HHSC and the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing that provides training and online resources on best practices in Geriatrics and Disability.

Collaboration between HHSC, providers, advocacy groups, industry groups and many others has resulted in a significant and sustained reduction in the use of antipsychotic drugs. At the same time, starting in 2015, the HHSC identified an increase in new diagnoses of schizophrenia among residents of nursing facilities in Texas. The HHSC has convened a working group of stakeholders and partners to address this issue and discuss the state’s shared commitment to work collaboratively to ensure accurate diagnoses and quality of care.

The Texas HHS Long Term Care Ombudsman’s Office has also educated residents on the use of antipsychotics. The program published an educational brochure for residents, family members and facility staff to ensure residents were only prescribed these potent drugs with proper diagnosis.

“Texans deserve to be supported in the care planning process, and we’ve worked closely with residents and families across the state to ask questions about the purpose of a new ordinance, to help residents. to communicate the side effects of a drug and support residents with seeking alternatives to antipsychotic drugs when possible, ”said state long-term care ombudsman, Patty Ducayet.

Other efforts to reduce the use of antipsychotics in Texas include the implementation of the Music and Memory program, which provides MP3 players to older people with dementia to help them reconnect with the world through memories. triggered by music, which can improve quality of life and quality of care. . The program was launched in 2015 as a pilot program in nursing homes and state-supported living centers of HHSC and Austin State Hospital in 2016. Since then, more than 1 000 nursing homes across Texas have participated in the HHSC Music & Memory program. For more information on the Music and Memory program, visit the HHS website.


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